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The evening at Mehfil was somber, as the topic for the evening was loaded. The audience who floated in were geared up for yet another Mehfil @ Prithvi.

We introduced our esteemed panel, which included the regulars- Shama Zaidi (Apa), Javed Siddiqui (Saab), Salim Arif (Saab) and we also had with us Mohammad Wajiuddin and Ali Peter who are well-established journalists. The topic for the evening was Journalism and Urdu literature.

The evening commenced with Javed Saab giving the audience a brief on the history of Indian Urdu journalism. He touched upon various publications and the writers. He spoke about Mulana Azad and the paper he started titled “Al Hilal”, he also mentioned Mulana Mohammad Ali Johar and his paper “Humdard/Khilafat ”. He also spoke about various journalists who have come into prominence with special emphasis on writer K. A. Abbas (Khwaja Ahmad Abbas)

Journalist Mohammad Wajiuddin read an interesting paper on writer K. A. Abbas who incidentally also wrote and directed many Indian films including Saat Hindustan (1969) and Do Boond Pani (1972), both of which won the National Film awards Palm d’or, nominated Pardesi (1957) and Shehar Aur Sapna(1963), which won the National Film Award for best Feature Film. K. A. Abbas’ column ‘Last Page’, holds the distinction of being one of the longest-running columns in the history of Indian journalism. The column began in 1935, in Bombay Chronicles, and moved to the Blitz after the Chronicle’s closure, where it continued until his death in 1987.

Ali Peter who has been K.A. Abbas’ protégé was also present at the mehfil to give audience an insight into this amazing man.

After the interval we touched upon writers such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Qurratulain Haider, Zaffarali Khan (paper- Zamindar) and Hasrat Muhani (paper- Mualla/ Mustaqi). The evening came to an end with a documentary film made on the only existing hand written paper in the country based in Chennai called “ Musalman”.

We ended with the hope to create some more magic with the next mehfil.

You can watch the documentary on ” Musalman” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBQ9VgBYQWI